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Pelican - City of Echoes

Discussion in 'Metal Reviews' started by circus_brimstone, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. circus_brimstone

    circus_brimstone Forest: Sold Out

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    Pelican – City of Echoes
    Hydra Head Records – HH666-124 – June 5, 2007
    By Jason Jordan

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    It was only a matter of time until seminal, instrumental post-rock band Pelican would fail to match the splendor of full-lengths Australasia (2003) and The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw (2005), but perhaps it wasn’t expected so soon. With that being said, City of Echoes is a great fucking record, proving yet again that this quartet are masters of the crescendo, which makes for incredibly satisfying climaxes during applicable songs. CoE isn’t as invested emotion, so now it actually takes work to become enraptured with the material, but even after expelling such effort, it’s apparent this isn’t up to par with older installments.

    As ‘Bliss in Concrete’ reaffirms, Pelican can still steamroll the listener with heavy, doomy riffs and double-bass acrobatics. Also true is the fact that they’re most compelling when playing at mid or fast pace. In addition to the sudden, abrupt ending of ‘Bliss in Concrete,’ some have voiced complaints about the drumming throughout City of Echoes, and while fitting at times, it does seem as if there’s an off-the-cuff quality to it since certain patterns seemingly neglect to repeat, or repeat only two times instead of the usual four. Tracks like the title one, and guitar-based ‘Winds with Hands’ are mildly enjoyable, if standard, though ‘Spaceship Broken – Parts Needed,’ ‘Lost in the Headlights,’ ‘Far from Fields,’ and ‘A Delicate Sense of Balance’ do some absolutely beautiful things with build-up. ‘Dead Between the Walls’ simply crushes, single-handedly reminding us that the members of Pelican have not necessarily abandoned their heavier roots, which, in various degrees, fueled Tusk and continue to power Lair of the Minotaur.

    A couple years ago, Pelican obliterated the notion of the sophomore slump, but at the same time, set us up for disappointment by raising the bar so high. Sadly, the absence of an unabashed stellar track among the eight, whereas predecessors had a few each, is what partly relegates City of Echoes to a tier below Australasia and The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw. But when a discography houses such masterpieces, meeting expectations while simultaneously surpassing previous benchmarks becomes increasingly difficult, if not downright impossible.

    Official Pelican Website
    Official Hydra Head Records Website
     
  2. ConvergeNerd

    ConvergeNerd Member

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    It's okay. Sounds more similar to Explosions in the Sky. Almost no sludge or noisy atmospherics, just really powerful instrumental indie rock. Which isn't bad, it's just different for them. There's plenty of emotional build-up in the songs, but something is missing. I feel like I'm hearing Pelican, but not feeling them. That probably doesn't make sense.

    6.5/10
     
  3. Scourge of Malice

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    I like that they tried something a little different, but it definitely doesn't touch their other albums. It has its moments though.
     
  4. Agalloch

    Agalloch The Purest of Doom

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    It's alright, but definitely a major step down from the previous two.
     

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